The Official Publication of Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority, Inc.
Sister Achieves Top 10 National Ranking
Jennis Watson Guest Writer
Dear Sisters, I am excited to
Behind her sweet persona, Soror Amalia Osborne
be able to bring ΘΝΞVision back to you! With
(Beta, 2011) carries tremendous strength and
this first issue of 2014, you’ll see a refreshed
self-assurance. As a sister, she has served as Dean
look and feel that we will carry through the year
of Intake, Chapter President, and Regional
as we complete the Sorority’s brand identity and
Undergraduate Student Advocate for the
bring the publication into alignment with the
new brand standards. In this issue we highlight a New Normal for Theta Nu Xi as we examine not only how we can amplify our voice as an organization, but also how we can address the issues most pressing to us as individuals and make an impact in these areas.
In addition to her leadership roles within Theta Nu Xi, Amalia has excelled as an Army ROTC cadet, and was recently ranked #9 (out of over 5,400 cadets) on the Army ROTC Order of Merit List! As battalion commander, Amalia is responsible for leading 15 MSIV (senior-level) cadets and supervising a battalion of 150. Ever humble, she says that she didn’t seek to become a highly ranked cadet;
We highlight the successes of the GAP program
rather, she put her heart into everything she did, because that is who she is. Her instructor, LTC
in 2013, and we begin looking toward the
Randall Wheeler, remarked, “Cadet Osborne epitomizes our Army values and the character we desire in
2014-2015 year and planning for the success of
our officers. She does nothing without giving her best effort and most importantly, she strives to
our chapters. And, we turned our gaze to others
motivate and develop others to reach their potential. She truly is a servant leader.”
who are following their passions toward social As if her ranking were not impressive enough, Amalia is also a double major in bio-medical engineer-
ing and biochemistry. Amalia graduates this May, and in August she will enroll at the University of In 2014 the ΘΝΞVision staff will be hard at
North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. There, she will pursue a degree in medicine, after
work, striving to bring you consistent and
which she will serve as an Army medical doctor or a prosthetics expert working to help injured soldiers
quality issues that tackle topics relevant to the
Sorority and are of interest to sisters. However, we cannot do it without each of you. We
Amalia hopes to be a strong, positive role model for future generations of young women. She wants all
encourage you to share your feedback on this
women who come after her to know that they can do anything that men can. “If you want something
and future issues, submit story ideas, join our
to be, and you want to achieve greatness, achieve it. Don't let someone tell you that you cannot, nor
team as a guest writer, and of course share your
let someone look down upon you”, she says. She further encourages young women to be serious about
successes and triumphs with us. I look forward
learning and doing. •
to hearing from all of you!
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
Spring Into Action
What can ONE Do?
Serving Our Communities Through Theta Nu Xi and Beyond
Table of Contents
Message from the President
Sister Achieves Top 10 National Ranking....................................Page 1 President’s Message...............................Page 2
Jamonique Harrison National President Happy Spring Sisters! This is an exciting time for Theta Nu Xi! As we celebrate our 17th anniversary, I invite you to reflect
Spring Into Action...................................Page 3
on all that we accomplished in 2013, and to prepare yourself to engage in a changing, yet purposeful, future.
What Can ONE Do?.................................Page 4 The leadership team is committed to developing an even greater understanding of the needs of the
membership. In August 2013, I completed my first chapter visit that produced a number of positive outcomes including a successful expansion bid, an effort to reignite relationships with sisters in the
GAP is Where It’s At...............................Page 8 Politics of a Multicultural Organization..........................................Page 10 Serving Theta Nu Xi and Beyond............................................Page 11 Special Feature......................................Page 12
area, and increased recruitment efforts at the university. In 2014, I will continue with chapter visits, and I look forward to meeting with many of you. In 2013, we demonstrated an unparalleled commitment to sisterhood as we helped fundraise over $12,000 to lay our sister Edrecelia “Betsy” Colomer to rest. Edrecelia was the first sister inducted into the Omega Chapter and her enthusiastic and loving spirit will guide us in solidifying the traditions and rituals for sisters we have lost. Now, more than ever, we understand the importance of sisterhood and have laid the foundation to develop additional opportunities to strengthen relationships and offer new avenues to (re)engage with Theta Nu Xi via national retreats, mentorship, and improved training programs. We witnessed the reactivation of the Xi Theta (Raleigh, Durham & Chapel Hill North Carolina) and the Xi Zeta (South Florida) chapters, as well as the emergence of the Xi Omicron (Richmond, VA) and Xi Pi
Staff Mekea Harvey Editor-in-Chief Dara Monasch Managing Editor Jessica Knouse Senior Editor Tanya Arditi Staff Writer Danielle Klank Staff Writer This Issue: Rhaema Friday Guest Writer Jennis Watson Guest Writer
(Metro Detroit) chapters, and the Colorado GAP Colony. This revitalization and extension is an opportunity to expand our reach, as well as strengthen our ability to make an impact in our communities. I am proud of what we have achieved so far and look forward to where we are headed. This period of change will continue as we work to fortify the sustainability of our organization. In the coming weeks, I will share my strategic intent for Theta Nu Xi and will give all members the opportunity to shape our future. Together, we will create a strategic plan that will map out the New Normal.
Cover Image: Lambda Chapter (2012) Want to see your chapter, region, or area sisters featured on the cover of ONEVision? Submit your photos to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Photos must be high resolution. Raw files are preferred. Have an article idea or feedback you want to share with the staff? Email the team at: email@example.com.
Spring Into Action
Planning to Lead is Planning to Succeed Jessica Knouse Staff Writer
Spring is upon us, and with the season’s change comes rebirth, renewed
The key is to listen to each other and be open to change and new ideas. Get
energy and excitement. For our chapters and sisters, spring is also a time of
some fresh perspective by including your chapter’s newest members,
transition, as Seniors prepare to graduate and younger chapter members
making sure they have the opportunity to provide feedback and be sure to
step into leadership roles. The excitement of something new can quickly
incorporate their suggestions in the planning process.
turn to a feeling being overwhelmed when you’re not properly prepared for the next steps and new beginnings. With proper planning you can ensure the energy and excitement of spring lasts all year long.
Step Three Think about where you want your chapter to go from here and set smart goals that will help you get there. Ask yourselves: What are the programs
It may seem odd to start planning so far ahead, however, it is essential for
we want to facilitate? What resources will we need to facilitate these
your chapter’s success to start making plans for the future sooner rather
programs? How can we be the BEST chapter you can be?
than later. Using fresh energy and ideas to lead your chapter into the next school year assures that you are planning to succeed in achieving your chapter’s goals. With this in mind, below you’ll find useful tips to help you focus on your chapter’s direction for the next year. At-Large sisters can also use these tips to plan out your personal and professional goals for the next year. So, let’s SPRING into action!
Creating a plan for your chapter provides direction for the sisters who will lead the chapter in the upcoming semesters. Think about what you want to leave behind as your legacy, as both a member and a chapter. If your chapter is exciting, legendary, inviting and full of possibilities, you will continue to attract quality interests. Always remember that what you are doing now will affect the future of your chapter and all of Theta Nu Xi!
Step One As you begin thinking about your programming for the upcoming year, consider your past successes, and how you can improve upon them. As a chapter discuss: What are the programs your chapter does well and has had
Quick Tips for Successful Programs
success with? What makes these programs successful? What can you do to
make them even more successful?
Be Excited! The proper amount of ENERGY is needed
to move a project forward. If you find the chapter lacks energy, take a step back and ask yourself how you can inspire others to see your vision.
Be Realistic! Dare to dream big, but make sure that you’re giving yourself the time you need to succeed.
The purpose of asking these questions is to assess what you already do well. Find where your momentum lies and go with it! If you have a system in place that assures success, keep replicating it. Step Two
Now take a look at the programs that may not be as successful and discuss
why these initiatives did not meet your expectations by asking yourselves
the following questions: What are the programs your chapter has not seen much success with? What are the roadblocks that get in the way of their success? What does success look like for this program? What would it take for the program(s) to be successful? And, does the chapter have what it takes? Perhaps not every sister was engaged with the event or program, the energy and momentum slowed during the planning process, or the goal that you had set was unattainable. This may prove to be a difficult discussion, but one that must be had in order to improve, or get rid of, the program(s).
Be Open Minded! Sometimes we get so excited and head-strong about our ideas that we forget that we work best as a TEAM.
Use your Resources! When I say “resources,” I mean each other. Use others’ talents to help move your project forward.
Know When to Hold ‘em & When to Fold ‘em!
Sometimes the best laid plans don’t work, and that’s ok!
Be Mindful! Take the time to review a program. Ask yourselves, “What went well?”, “What can we do better next time?”, and “Is it worth repeating?”
What Can ONE Do? Rhaema Friday Guest Writer
Welcome to the Sisterhood Fall 2013 Initiates Beta Chapter Leah Chevis, Shannon Atako, Bahia Smith, Desirae Scruggs, Elizabeth Leak, Nicolette Alston, and Karen Derr
When I heard that George Zimmerman was exonerated of the manslaughter charges in the death of Trayvon Martin, I felt enraged. But, beneath the feelings of anger lay stronger feelings of helplessness. I wanted to make a change to ensure that no one else ever suffered the same fate as Trayvon. However, I felt lost, as I did not know what my first step should be.
Should I protest? Attend a vigil? While these are effective strategies, they seemed isolated, and I
questioned their long-term impact. I needed to educate myself on what steps I should be taking in order to make a change in the issues I care about. The opportunity to learn how I can have an impact
on the issues I care about came from my job. I work for a human rights NGO that offered an
Catilin Eng, Sam Chu, Katerina Pham, and
accelerated advocacy course for their employees. The course examined the strategies behind several
major human rights campaigns, such as the international recognition of rights for domestic workers,
the National Campaign to End Juvenile Life Without Parole, and Seeking Justice for the Abu Salim
Segann March, Patricia Millard, and
Prison Massacre. As we begin to implement social change in our communities under our current
annual theme, these tools and strategies can help our sisters and chapters organize to make an impact.
Alpha Alpha Chapter Jess Grobman, Gilnou Pamphile, Francine Soloman, Nia Eddie, Deandra Bucknor, and DaVivian Pollock-Larmond
Issue Analysis Before embarking on a campaign, it is a good idea to complete an issue analysis in order to gain a full understanding of the challenges of the issue, the obstacles that you may encounter, and the key factors to consider. When analyzing the issue, think about the following: law and policy, enforcement,
Alpha Zeta Chapter Monica Estudillo, Claire Green, Love Adetoye,
and culture. An issue analysis for the international recognition of rights for domestic workers could look like this:
and Jessica Jefferson There aren’t any laws to protect domestic workers and domestic workers were not covered by labor
Alpha Eta Chapter Ana Garcia and Jazmine Yarena Alpha Kappa Keisha-Marie Butler Xi Nu Chapter Jennifer Smith
laws. Without laws to protect their rights, there was no enforcement of “violations”; police often treated any complaints and issues as a private matter. In many cultures, domestic labor is considered “women’s work”. As such, the work is devalued, and derogatory terms are used to describe domestic workers. Many domestic workers are poor, have very little time off, and limited access to education. An issue analysis can serve as the foundation for a campaign, and can function as a roadmap. Using the domestic workers example from above, a key initial action in winning rights for domestic workers in the Philippines was to change the culture surrounding domestic workers from one that uses language to denigrate workers, to one that uses more positive terminology- domestic workers were once called names such as “muchaha” (girl), and “katulong” (help). Advocates pushed for a change to “kasambahay” (companion in the home) to initiate the conversation about
Continued on page 6
Mixed. Bi-racial. Café con leche. Multiracial. Blasian. Ko-Rican. Jewminican. Tanya Arditi Staff Writer So many of the Sisters of Theta Nu Xi are children of mixed racial, ethnic,
family has been featured in many articles and specials about Jews of Color,
and/or cultural backgrounds, and we all have different ways to describe
as well as pieces exploring multiculturalism and diversity in America.
ourselves – or ways other people have described us.
Rollins-Rishonis an individual whose life as a woman, daughter, wife, and
Like many of us, Gulienne Rollins-Rishon is a woman who grew up aware of
now mother, revolves around being multicultural, a life closely aligned to
her place in the world as a bi-racial individual; she is the daughter of a
the tenets and purpose of Theta Nu Xi. I recently had the opportunity to
Jewish woman of Caucasian descent and an African American man. Tired of
speak with Guilienne about her perspectives on inclusivity, diversity and
picking up magazines like Seventeen and YM, and despite being able to
multiculturalism, and how they relate to Swirl World and her personal
relate to the stories, Gulienne was often unable to use the makeup and hair
tips. She turned to Essence and Ebony, only to experience another
Let’s start with the basics of what you do and who you are: What is Swirl World Magazine, and what do you hope to accomplish with it and in your life? What’s your vision for Swirl World Magazine?
incomplete degree of relate-ability. It was during her senior year of high school that she realized it was her job to create a space for girls like her.
Through many iterations, journeys, and life changes, my original idea grew
At the time, Gulienne, was a Girl Scout and decided to create a newsletter
from just wanting to do a magazine for teen girls to running, in the future,
for biracial children and teenagers to complete her Gold Award. The deeper
a gaggle of magazines for kids (like Highlight’s but for those of us who are
she delved into her project, the more she realized that “giving a voice and a
from multiracial families), teens (both boys and girls), and parents. It grew
community to kids like [her] was what [she] wanted to do with [her] life”. “I
even further to a company, HypheNation, to encompass publishing novels
wanted one magazine that I could pick up and find myself in,” she told me.
and non-fiction books focusing on “contested” racial identity in America—
“In the stories, in the fashion tips, in the contests. Everywhere.”
the first published book, Thoughts From a Unicorn: 100% Black. 100%
These were the seeds out of which Swirl World Magazine was born. The
Jewish. 0% Safe, is written by MaNishtana, an African American Orthodox
purpose of Swirl World Magazine is “to form a supportive and informative
Jewish blogger/author, who was born into a family that can trace its
community for the members of mixed-race families in America. It exists to
African American Jewish roots back to the 1800s and then it goes into
aid in the identity formation and acceptance of children, teens, and young
Africa. But the idea didn’t stop there. It grew even further to a future goal
adults.” They “aim to convey the message that choosing to acknowledge
of a textbook line that’s a bit more historically accurate, diverse in the
both or all of a person’s races, ethnicities and cultures is not only okay, but
context of its examples, and is relate-able to a much wider demographic in
wonderful.” Swirl World Magazine is also there to “help parents struggling
America. Finally, the future goals include events like weekend/week-long
to understand their child’s outlook on life, as well as those struggling to
camps for kids and parents to be surrounded by people who share their
acknowledge society’s outlook on their child as fundamentally different
interracial identity, counseling catering to socio-racial identity, and
than society’s outlook on themselves.”
support/celebration events of our unique makeup, struggles, and triumphs.
I first met Gulienne many years ago at a friend’s party. We connected instantly as she bonded with my companion, who is of Caucasian Jewish and Afro-Caribbean Christian descent. They discussed the struggles and beauties of being mixed-race, and what it was like growing up as a Jew of color in what is often seen as a very homogeneous, caucasian community. Guilienne is now happily married to an Jewish man of African American
For example, to this goal, I’m currently building a directory of mental health professionals who incorporate socio-racial identity into their therapy, so please pass along any names and/or reviews!In the short term, am starting to speak on diversity and multicultural/multiracial identity. I’ll be speaking at the University of Kentucky in February, and am looking for more opportunities to discuss the topic.
Continued on page 7
descent (whose family can trace its African American and Jewish roots back to the 1800s), and the couple has newborn daughter. Guilienne’s
Continued from page 4
respect and equality. Kasambahay removed the stigma of being a domestic worker, and encouraged debate about the role of a domestic worker in the home.
state of defiance families held weekly demonstrations; they carried posters with photos of their relatives and questions on their whereabouts in order to raise public awareness. With severe crackdowns on the expression of dissent, the families turned to internet in order to make their cause known locally and internationally by posting a list of demands to the Liberian government, and uploading videos
Another important step is defining your target audience. It can be the
and photos of their demonstrations. Prior to the families’ organizing, the
people you want to take or refrain from an action; allies that will strength-
massacre was a relatively unknown incident. By using the internet, the
en your argument and/or lend their influence; people that are directly or
families garnered the attention of international human rights organizations
indirectly affected by the issue; and individuals or governing bodies that
like Amnesty International, who then exerted pressure directly on Gaddafi
can create policies or laws to carry out the change. Your entire audience
himself. As the movement grew and Gaddafi faced local and international
can be virtually anyone, but targets should be selected strategically
pressure, the government acknowledged the incident, and notified and
depending on the impact you want, the change you want to make, and your
compensated the families of the slain victims. These families changed the
end goal(s). When advocates sought to abolish the life without parole (LWP)
course of history by organizing and demanding accountability.
sentences for juvenile offenders, a critical campaign strategy was the selection and use of their targets. They reached out to correctional officers and victims’ families to show unilateral support for the abolition of LWP sentences for juveniles.
The desire to make a change can be overwhelming, particularly if the issue in question is overarching and complex. Mapping out a plan is the first step in gaining control. Don’t let your numbers deter you. Whether you’re one person or one chapter, it is possible to have an impact on the issues most
When human rights advocates met with political figures, they were often
important to you. In the Abu Salim massacre example, a sweeping change
accompanied by correctional officers and victims’ families. The additional
began with a few families deciding to work together in the face of extreme
perspectives of these two targets provided support to the voices of the
government oppression. A meeting in a home, at a church, or in a chapter
offenders and increased the chances of gaining support.
can spark the change you desire. •
Strategy Development After completing an issue analysis, and selecting your targets, you will now need to develop a strategy. When developing your strategy, you should consider questions such as: How will I get others to pay attention to my issue? Are there any opportunities to make a change? What are my short and long-term goals? In the mid-1990s, many critics of the oppressive Gaddafi regime in Libya were indiscriminately detained and tortured at Abu Salim. The morning after a prison uprising for fair treatment and visitation rights, a special unit was called in to execute many prisoners. The Gaddafi regime covered up this incident, and families were stonewalled when they tried to visit their loved ones or file complaints. Families organized to demand justice and employed several strategies. Though prohibited under Libyan laws, in a bold
Continued from page 5
always bringing me connections. I think my
How do you personally define a diverse and inclusive ideal society?
mom’s really sensitive about it though because
I personally define a diverse and inclusive ideal society to be one in which both each individual and the
she often sees it as an attack on herself, but she’s
greater society places value on true diversity and on each individual’s right to truthfully self-identify
always been great about making sure I am strong
without appropriating others’ identities.Why do you think work in the diversity/multicultural sphere is
in my identity as a biracial kid. My husband is
important in the context of our current state as a nation and our changing demographics?First, I think
super supportive; in fact, we met because we
that the diversity sphere and multicultural/multiracial spheres should not be considered the exact same
interacted online and our first meeting was
thing. Diversity includes considering religion, social and economic classes, gender, educational back-
intended to help each other network, so his first
ground, and so many other factors, and I think it’s so limiting when people think that diversity work only
act towards me was to help me grow the idea!
includes cultural and racial diversity. That being said, our nation was built by a racially and culturally
My daughter’s not so supportive right now! She
diverse spectrum of people, most of whom were immigrants, whether forced or voluntary. The majority
just wants my arms all to herself, but what can
of the financial and legal infrastructure has been led by European-descendant Americans for the last
you expect of a 3 month old?
few centuries. Therefore, the cultural history of this nation is told predominantly from that perspective,
well, all other Americans, as well as other parts of the world. History must be taught in a way that
Finally, what are some of your favorite resources for gaining insight and to arm yourself with information/best practices? And what are some of your favorite books and movies that deal with issues of diversity and multiculturalism?
honors all people’s truths; that can reduce xenophobia and otherization, and lead to much more
I look at Racialicious, Colorlines, and Swirl Inc. a
productive and positive interactions between people of all backgrounds, making our unique American
lot. But I’m still working on collecting resources.
demographics an unquestionable asset rather than a political issue.
I don’t know that there are any I utilize enough
What can individuals, groups that do diversity work, and/or Greek organizations like ours, do to effect actual change and be part of the solution to the problems that ultimately are the reason we need to promote diversity and multiculturalism?
to recommend them as true resources. Learn as
but to say that they’re the only true Americans is such a falsehood. I think that given our shifting demographics, rising rates of interracial and intercultural interaction, often including the type that leads to children, it’s important to foster intercultural understanding and educate all Americans about,
Any group can do two main things to effect actual change and be part of the solution. Firstly, incorporate all kinds of diversity that are in line with your group’s mission statement and identity. Live diversity, rather than just talk about it, and show that there are all kinds of diversity while honoring the differences within your organization and make it clear that you consider it an asset (NOT an “asset, but...”). Secondly, don’t step outside of your group identity just to fill a quota or have “diversity”. For example, a Latina sorority shouldn’t necessarily accept someone who identifies as Chinese-descendant or White American just because they’re dedicated to diversity; diversity comes in all forms and it does not require changing your identity. Being truly committed to diversity work also includes respecting your own identity and boundaries. However, working with like-minded organizations with different identities can be a way to incorporate that extra aspect of diversity without giving in on your identity. Just a disclaimer: this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t accept people who are outside of one, even a defining, aspect of your identity if you think that they bring value to your organization, just don’t feel pressured to do it just because you advocate for diversity. How has your family been a source of support or lack of it about your calling? My family of origin has been supportive in theory, and my dad tells people about it all the time and is
much as you can, read history textbooks and then read Lies My Teacher Told Me by James Loewen; White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh; and watch the newer and older videos of Ms. Jane Elliot’s Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes experiment. Then go back and read the history textbooks (and math, English, sciencetextbooks) again and realize how the stories are being told, who is telling them, and who’s being otherized. Additionally, some that I plan to create! Crash was a great movie that dealt with it all. I loved Save the Last Dance in part because it dealt with it in SUCH an accurate teenage way (most Julia Stiles movies from that era did). Clueless was another favorite that really points to what I was mentioning earlier, that Continued on page 8
GAP is Where It's At! Danielle Klank Staff Writer 2013 was a good year for the Graduate, Alumnae and Professional (GAP) members of Theta Nu Xi. With
GAP Colony which became the Xi Pi Chapter in
the 2013 GAP membership drive increasing the number of GAP member reactivations by 12% over the
early April 2014. The 6 chapter founders craved
summer 2012 drive, and the fall of 2013 (August 15-December 31) providing an 110% increase in GAP
an opportunity to strengthen their relationships,
member reactivations, GAP is most definitely where it’s at!
as well as provide an opportunity for area
Member reactivations benefit Theta Nu Xi in many ways, such as bringing new ideas and fresh faces to leadership, increased organizational revenue, and overall revitalization of our Sorority. One of the more visible benefits of member reactivation in 2013 was the revival and expansion of several GAP chapters and colonies.
undergraduate sisters to transition to active GAP membership immediately upon graduation. The Xi Pi Chapter is also focusing on developing relationships in their community and community service opportunities in their immediate area.
Both the Xi Theta (Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, NC) and Xi Zeta (South Florida) chapters were
Over the next year, they will focus on increasing
reactivated, the Central Virginia GAP Colony became the Xi Omicron Chapter, and we saw the birth of
their membership and strengthening their
two new entities, the Colorado GAP Colony and the Metro-Detroit GAP Colony, who successfully
became the Xi Pi Chapter.
With new initiatives like the Sister Sponsor
The establishment of the Xi Omicron Chapter was a long road. The colony had to surmount the obstacles
Program that will support membership reactiva-
of member relocation and the resulting lack of members in the immediate area. However, the spirit of
tion, and the examples set by the chapters
sisterhood in central Virginia didn’t wane, and in August 2013 with the influx of new sisters to the area,
mentioned above, we are looking forward to
and their individual commitments to stay active in Theta Nu Xi, the former colony officially became a
watching Theta Nu Xi’s continue to spread its
wings and prosper in 2014 and beyond. •
The Xi Theta Chapter reactivated in October 2013, after area sisters met to strategize a new beginning that included restructuring, expanding area sister participation, and mentoring local undergraduate chapters. Continued from page 7
The importance of our sisterhood hit home last fall with the loss of Soror Edrecelia Colomer, and was
racial diversity really sometimes doesn’t mean
especially felt by sisters in Florida. Alpha Alpha Chapter alumnae and sisters living in South Florida came
anything as far as diversity other than skin color.
together to reactivate the Xi Zeta Chapter, committing to strengthening the chapter’s foundation and a
Some others are: Thoughts From a Unicorn; Milk
renewed focus on sisterhood. “It was important for sisters in south Florida to come together for the
In My Coffee by Eric Jerome Dickey; Big Girls Don’t
loss of our beloved Soror. It reignited the need for a renewed sisterhood and fostered a true sense of
Cry by Connie Briscoe; and The Sisterhood of the
community. Xi Zeta is excited to be back, and ready to move forward”, said Margie Lee, Chapter
Traveling Pants series. Most of the books I just
mentioned are novels, all are stories. I think that
Towards the end of 2013, several Alpha Zeta Chapter alumnae, many of whom were active as GAP-atLarge sisters and members of the regional and national board, recognized their mutual desire to bring back the structure of chapter membership to their lives, revitalize their support system, and deepen their involvement with their community. They established the Colorado GAP Colony and are now working towards these goals, in addition to supporting the Alpha Zeta Chapter, as well as Theta Nu Xi and the community at large. GAP expansion has continued with the establishment of the Metro-Detroit
it’s important to incorporate diversity and multiculturalism as just a fact, whether it’s the plotline or incidental. •
Welcome Home to GAP Congratulations to Our December Graduates! Kristina Broomfield (Zeta) Meredith Booker (Alpha Beta) Arianne Gouveia (Lambda) Olivia Harper (Gamma) Danielle Klank (Alpha Beta) Brianna Maualaivao (Epsilon) Sasha Nelson (Lambda) Baylie Robinson (Lambda) Kiari Morales Singleton (Lambda) Fatima Yusuf (Omicron)
The Politics of a Multicultural Organization Jessica Knouse Staff Writer I think every bride has that moment of panic when she realizes that her wedding day is drawing near. And, despite the challenge of time versus getting in shape, she’s still wanting to “look amazing” on her wedding day. I too exhibited the signs of pre-wedding panic, and so I decided to hire a personal trainer. Not only did my trainer help get me in shape for my big day, she also gave me some of the best advice I’ve ever received: “If nothing changes, then nothing changes.” As we begin discussions of moving Theta Nu Xi toward greater advocacy and social justice efforts, I want to be sure we make any changes with proper forethought and in a way that is healthy for our Sorority. With the inauguration of this year’s theme, Social Change Butterflies, at Convention 2013, many of our chapters and members have begun to take a critical look at how we can effect positive change in our communities, and what role Theta Nu Xi should play in effecting social change on a larger scale. Some Greek letter organizations include political awareness and involvement in their programmatic initiatives, and use the many voices of their members to advocate for change in accordance with their programmatic objectives.
inclusiveness we desire of Theta Nu Xi. I joined Theta Nu Xi was because I wanted to extend myself beyond the cocoon of my white, middle-class, privileged, rural upbringing. I wanted to listen to the experiences of others. I wanted to literally extend my hand to someone very different than me and say: “I respect you, I respect our differences, and in this respect, I form a bond with you no matter our
Many sisters believe that Theta Nu Xi has the “potential to greatly impact
political views.” I wanted to change myself in order to be a voice to change
our nation.” However, with a membership as diverse as ours, and with our
the world around me. If we are to be advocates of social change, let us first
commitment to not allow personal politics get in the way of our bonds,
consider how we are affecting change—and if a singular organizational
Soror Siria Serrano asks, “Is Theta Nu Xi the structure we want to use,
voice will stifle our individual, experienced, and passionate voices. Though I
develop, [and] invest in, to represent and carry out [political initiatives]? Is
am unsure a multicultural organization is the right place to take on this
that its role?” While we do have the potential to use Theta Nu Xi as a
task, in our exploration of this path I recommend that we proceed with our
platform to instigate social change, with diversity and inclusion as a core
eyes open, our ears ready to listen, and with caution instead of a “crash
belief of our Sorority, how do we decide what platforms we will (and won’t)
diet” of change. For change to be successful, we must find a healthy way to
advocate for? And, more importantly, do we “really understand what it
make the transition. •
means to be social change agents” and a social justice organization? Before Theta Nu Xi adopts a policy of advocating for social justice, we must be sure we fully understand what that means, and we must consider the consequences of choosing to advocate for certain platforms over others. If we do move in this direction we need to do so with caution and thoughtfulness to ensure that we do not marginalize any of our members. We need to be sure that any efforts we choose to support can maintain the
Tell Us What You Think Visit our blog, Flutters & Flights, find this post, and let us know what you think about supporting political platforms as a multicultural sorority.
Serving our Communities Through Theta Nu Xi and Beyond Tanya Arditi Staff Writer A unique element of our service tenet is that it allows us to shine a light on the other core values of Theta Nu Xi. We can show leadership through service, activities can be multicultural in nature, our impact is amplified when we come together as a sisterhood, and we can advance our, and others’, scholarship through service. Many of our sisters join having previous advocacy experience and the personal politics that influence the programs and platforms they support as members. Sisters have
Run For A Change
even founded their own service organizations or new branches of national organizations. For example, Soror Chidinma (Chi Chi) Offomah (Mu Chapter, 2011), is a co-founder and site leader for Hollaback!Tucson.
The Xi Xi Chapter has spent much of the past year brainstorming and developing a unique
Hollaback!Tucson’s mission is to eliminate street harassment by igniting public discourse, bringing
event to benefit our national philanthropy, Girls
greater awareness to the issue, and actively developing strategies to ensure equal access to public
for A Change (GFC). The chapter reached out to
spaces. When asked how she became involved with the program, Chi Chi said, “As you probably know
their contacts, eventually partnering with
and have experienced, street harassment is the most pervasive and insidious form of gender-based violence in existence. Being touched, spoken to, whistled at, catcalled, leered at, or flashed is a common occurrence for many women in the city of Tucson. It occurs, everywhere – on one’s way to work, while walking down the street, on buses, in parks and libraries, on university and college
RunBucks, a local race production company, and GFC to develop Run For A Change, a women focused 10k charity race.
campuses, in the grocery store...I knew I wanted to do something about it.” So she contacted the Hollaback! headquarters and, after being connected to two other girls with similar interests,
The race will be held on Sunday, May 11, 2014
established a branch in Tucson.
(Mother’s Day), in Washington Crossing Park, Pennsylvania, and will feature special giveaways,
With the other two founders of Hollaback!Tucson being University of Arizona students as well, the
as well as other accommodations for female
organization functions by forging relationships across campus – getting involved with other organiza-
tions and creating strategic alliances with peer departments including Campus Health Services, LGBTQ affairs, The Men’s Project, and the Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault. They also hand out literature, plan campus safety audits, and stay current on the latest sexual violence laws. This year, Hollaback!Tucson participated in International Anti-Harassment Week 2014, “making sure,” Chi Chi said, “that we initiate a campus conversation on the problem of street harassment right here,
Chapter members will be onsite on race day, supporting RunBucks with event logistics. If you’re a sister and/or runner interested in a new
right now”. “It’s a pretty full week of events – a movie and discussion, a mini-tabling event, anti-vio-
experience, or just someone who enjoys running
lence workshop, and a chalk-walk with Holly Kearl from NYC’sStop Street Harassment, who flew in to
road races, the Xi Xi Chapter encourages you to
join Hollaback!Tucson for the events”.
sign up for Run For A Change. If you’re not interested in running, but still want to support
So where does the Mu Chapter come into play? Although running Hollaback!Tucson is ChiChi’s
the event, Xi Xi welcomes you to join them as a
individual passion, she explains that, “the chapter has been wonderful about attending events,
race volunteer. For more information about Run
sharing stuff on their own Facebook [profiles], and helping me with emailing listservs. Every single one of my sisters has come to my tabling events, has brought a non-Greek friend along, and has urged the rest of our [Greek] council to get involved too.” Chi Chi, like so many of our sisters, is passionate about Theta Nu Xi as well as other cause, and as a
For A Change, or to sign up as a runner or volunteer, contact Nikki DeMaio, Xi Xi Chapter Programming Officer. Visit the chapter website for contact information.•
woman in women’s organization, her two passions need not compete. “Mu has gone above and beyond to make sure that my cause reaches as many of their own friends and families as possible.” •
We Are ONE Day of Service Left Xi Omicron (Richmond Virginia) at their Adopt-a-Street clean up project. Right Xi Alpha Chapter (NYC) helping to construct a home for Hurricane Sandy Victims.
Left Rho Chapter (Muhlenberg College) After their performance at the Black Student Union's "Bridging the Gap" Block Party.
Left We Are ONE Day of Service Xi Zeta (South Florida) participating in Habitat for Humanity, Women Build. Right Psi Chapter and area sisters at the Spring 2014 Psi Chapter Emergence.
Above Sorors Christiana Carnot (Lambda, 2011) and National President, Jamonique Harrison (Lambda, 2003) together on Founders Day. Below We Are ONE Day of Service Mallory Corrus and Ana Islas (Mu Chapter) volunteering at the Tucson Youth Peace Conference
Above Xi Beta Chapter (Greensboro, NC) and children at their Butterfly Brunch in celebration of Founders Day 2014. Right Xi Gamma (D.C.) and DMV sisters out for a night on the town in celebration of Founders Day 2014.
Left We Are ONE Day of Service Xi Mu Chapter (Orlando, FL) volunteering at the Miami Spartan Super.
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